Radical media, politics and culture.


hydrarchist writes

This is Part 1 of a three-part essay. Part 2 is to be found here, and the final Part 3 here."

"Crime Becomes Custom, Custom Becomes Crime"

Trevor Bark

Paper presented at the 'Making Social Movements:
The British Marxist Historians and Protest Movements' conference
, June 26-28 2002 Edge Hill College of Higher Education.


The British Marxist Historians (BMH) were involved in the study not only of protest and social movements, but of what was and was becoming crime. The enclosures, the change from wages in kind (perquisites) to the wage form itself (Linebaugh 1991), wood gathering, nutting and so on that were previously peoples custom were criminalized and fought politically by the disposessed. Thompsons 'moral economy' theses was based upon the study of bread riots, and this in turn became part of what is known as the social crime debate (Douglas Hay et al, 1975)

Rather than economic crime and protest being central to the poors' lives, crime became marginalized and left to the professionals or a marginalized lumpen element in the Fordist era. Into the late modern era we have seen the growth of crime often linked to high unemployment and 'flexibility', and the growth of social movement protest.

The themes of the BMH about a militant participation in the present, a political Marxism, and reconstructing theory are important ones. To that end we involve ourselves in the social movements, whether that is a rediscovery of the mass tobacco and alcohol smuggler, other informal economic activity in the city, or the emerging anti-capitalist movement.

I am presenting a case for the development of the social crime concept by testing whether the key characteristics can be found today, and also politically reassessing the nature of crime itself. Originally (Hay et al, 1975) said it wasn't possible to distinguish between 'good' criminals here and 'bad' criminals there, and this all blurred into the labouring poor; Linebaugh (1991) notes payment of wages was often years behind. The distinction between the respectable/unrespectable, non-deserving and deserving poor manifested itself in the political development of the Labour movement and Marxism, and can be found within the anti-capitalist movement.

Following "No Logo" and its emphasis on the trademark brand names in the shops I will present analysis about shoplifting and whether the politics of part of the anti-capitalist movement has had any effect on shoplifters choices. I will ask the question about how you go about destroying the brand most effectively, and outline the liberalism found within "No Logo". 'Crime' is now a central feature of the social movements large manifestations and also for a significant section of the general public.

Bureau of Public Secrets writes "Gary Snyder's article "Buddhist Anarchism" -- one of the first expressions
of what later became known as "socially engaged Buddhism" -- is now online
at Snyder.

"Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the
actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems
of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from
psychological hangups and cultural conditionings. Institutional Buddhism has
been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies
of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to
Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion....

"The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has
been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both.""

Anonymous Comrade writes :

"Location One invites you to join us online or in the gallery (Soho, New York) for:

PART TWO (A Networked Event on World Conflict)

Wednesday, October 30, 2002 8 PM, Free to the public

PART TWO (a networked event on world conflict) continues to experiment
the new collaborative software used at Location One in such events as
electronic presentation of Mac Wellman's Bitter Bierce. The focus of
ongoing investigation is to seek, in an informal way, the discursive
possibilities of a relatively new practice — the live digital video

Catching a Falling Knife: The Art of Day Trading

Interview with Michael Goldberg By Geert Lovink

Over the next three weeks artist Michael Goldberg will be betting on
Newscorp shares. The installation, Catching a Falling Knife, opens
tomorrow at Artspace in Sydney (Oct 17, 18.00). As Artspace's critic in
residence, together with Michael, I will report on the ups and downs of
Murdoch's media enterprise and Michael's efforts to play the market . The
following interview gives the reader an idea about Michael Goldberg's
previous work, his intentions and expectations. You can follow the project
at falling knife

A nice piece of interactive visual critique on work may be found here:


More-Inc. is an artistic simulation of lifestyle in a capitalist
culture. The project is dedicated to employee number 12995 and to his
frustrations and angst. Wesley Thomas Meyer analyses, with irony, the human being's
role in a world dominated by corporations and the New Economy. The user
is invited to participate in the daily routine of a faceless employee
and to interact with the endless meetings, paper pushing, form filing,
homogeneity, subversion, and anxiety that are typical in the corporate
work world. Later, the user's interaction travels beyond the job to
employee 12995's domestic life and dreamy subconscious leading to an
experiential crescendo realized in breakdown, dissimulation, and

hydrarchist writes

"Marcel Mauss: Give It Away"

David Graeber

you noticed how there aren't any new French intellectuals any more? There
was a veritable flood in the late '70s and early '80s: Derrida, Foucault,
Baudrillard, Kristeva, Lyotard, de Certeau ... but there has been almost
no one since. Trendy academics and intellectual hipsters have been forced
to endlessly recycle theories now 20 or 30 years old, or turn to countries
like Italy or even Slovenia for dazzling meta-theory.

Alan Moore writes

"This spring I took part in an exhibition at the Smart Museum in Chicago called “Critical Mass.” The show presented work by several artists and groups of artists who engaged in what they called “critical practice.” While this term is imbued with the typical art institutional vagueness, and the press releases smoke it up pretty good, the curators did assemble an extremely instructive bibliography of activist art practice and political art practice now and in the past. I post it with their permission as a public service.

See also -- a review of the April, 2002 “Critical Mass” exhibition in Chicago:
http://www.chicagoweeklynews.com/story.php?story=1 89

The activist art collective Temporary Services (more art than activist, actually) described their contributions to this show at the following page (scroll down to “Groupings”):

hmt writes

"Check-out my current exhibition at -
horror vacui"

doe@admu.edu.ph writes:

Kritika Kultura:

A Philippine Electronic Journal of Literary and Language Studies

The Department of English invites you to visit "Kritika Kultura," a
pioneering refereed Philippine electronic journal committed to the promotion of scholarship.

The articles in the first issue are E. San Juan's "From Birmingham to
Angkor Wat: Demarcations of Contemporary Cultural Studies," Ma. Teresa
Wright's "Fragile Arena: The Struggle Between Protest and Confinement in Three Sugilanons," Marjorie Evasco's "Song and Substance: Women Writing Poetry in Cebuano," Leoncio P. Deriada's "Literature Engineering in West Visayas," Isabel Pefianco Martin's "Colonial Pedagogy: Teaching Practices of American Colonial Educators in the Philippines," and Charlie Samuya Veric's review of *Necessary Fictions* by Caroline S. Hau.

Please go to kritika kultura

Finding the Strength to Love and Dream

By Robin D.G. Kelley, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 7, 2002

Like most of my comrades active in the early days of the Reagan era, I
turned to Marxism for the same reasons I looked to the third world. The
misery of the proletariat (lumpen and otherwise) proved less interesting
and less urgent than the promise of revolution. I was attracted to
"small-c" communism because, in theory, it sought to harness technology to
solve human needs, give us less work and more leisure, and free us all to
create, invent, explore, love, relax, and enjoy life without want of the
basic necessities of life.

I fell in love with the young Marx of The German Ideology and The Communist
Manifesto, the visionary Marx who predicted the abolition of all
exploitative institutions. I followed young Marx, via the late English
historian Edward P. Thompson, to those romantic renegade socialists, like
William Morris, who wanted to break with all vestiges of capitalist
production and rationalization. Morris was less concerned with socialist
efficiency than with transforming social relations and constructing new,
free, democratic communities built on, as Thompson put it, "the ethic of
cooperation, the energies of love."


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